The Doll, The Lost Short Stories of Daphne du Maurier is a collection of her early work written when she was in her twenties. Most of the stories had been published in magazines and then forgotten about. Her writing career was just beginning; bigger things were to come.
The Doll, the title story of the collection, I reviewed earlier this year and a few other stories were published in The Rebecca Notebook which I read last year. A few of the stories I had never read before. There is not a particular theme to the book. The stories run from noir, to funny, to introspective. Many are about the disappointment of romantic relationships. From those stories, you would think that du Maurier didn't believe men and women could be happy together. All relationships end in bitterness. Not much of a romantic at that age.
I had a few favourites though:
There was one I found quite funny because I could relate to it. In Week-End, a couple in love take a holiday which ends in disaster. I once had a similar situation on a trip with my husband when we were first dating. Unlike the couple in the story, we got over it and can laugh about it. Maybe if the couple had a sense of humour about it they might be where my husband and I are now.
Frustration is also a funny one. The frustration is over a couple's difficulties in having a wedding night. *wink, wink* The irony is a little over the top but so hilarious. You can't help but sympathize with them while laughing at their predicament.
In The Happy Valley, the protagonist dreams of a house in a valley. Dreaming of a house? Hmm. Where have I heard that before? This story is closest to the types of stories she would later write. There is an element of the supernatural as the protagonist is seeing a vision of her future.
With the variety in this collection, there is sure to be a story or two for you. The Doll, The Lost Short Stories is an interesting look at a master storyteller at the beginning of her career.
Recommended. Thanks to TLC Book Tours for the review copy. For more opinions, see the tour schedule.